Saturday, 27 Nov 2021

Brits start panic buying Christmas trees amid warning of ‘dire’ situation

Customers are pre-ordering Christmas trees in the latest breakout of panic buying.

Garden centre boss Chris Bonnett has seen pre-orders for firs soar by 500% amid fears of driver shortages, Covid restrictions, and Brexit playing havoc with deliveries.

Chris said: “Panic buying is clearly spreading to other sectors apart from fuel and food.

“But given the level of imports and lack of HGV drivers Europe-wide, it’s very questionable if the UK will receive its full quota of required Christmas trees this year.

"Luckily, we’ve secured our stock from a local plantation so we know we won’t have issues filling our orders, unlike others that rely on imports and tree traders for their stock.

“The supply situation is pretty dire out there in the garden centres and customers will begin to notice gaps in displays and shortages of certain plant varieties.

Chris, of GardeningExpress in Essex, added: “Christmas is another important trading time for the sector, so for some the impact of these shortages could have serious consequences.”

Meanwhile, wine shelves were empty as supermarkets continue to struggle with supplies. The toy and Christmas aisles also looked bare at the Cambridge branch of Tesco as shoppers are urged to prepare early for this year’s festivities.

There were lots of gaps on the toy shelves and Christmas cakes and puddings were also in short supply.

Big-brand toys, such as Barbie and Paw Patrol, are expected to be tough to get hold of and people are being urged to stock up in advance of the festive season.

There is currently an estimated shortfall of 100,000 truck drivers, which means there are not enough deliveries to meet demand.

As we reported last week, Christmas could be ruined through a combination of panic buying and factories closing, with many shoppers already suffering from food shortages, according to reports.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics suggest that roughly one in six people in the UK have struggled to buy essential food items at some point in the past fortnight.

43% of people have found that supermarkets have had less variety as of late, and 14% have needed to trudge across town to different shops to tick off their shopping lists.

Moreover, with a third of shoppers either 'worried' or 'very worried' about shortages ahead of Christmas, record numbers of people have booked up delivery slots for December.

Waitrose opened their December bookings last week. By lunchtime on the first day, 22,000 slots had gone, with that number rising to 112,000 by the end of the week.

Ocado has been forced to pen "sorry if you haven't been able to a Christmas slot in time" on its website.

For the latest breaking news and stories from across the globe from the Daily Star, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.

Source: Read Full Article

Best News